Kevin McKenna was at it again in the Observer today, 16th October 2016. Remember it was Kevin who once accused the SNP of being ‘Arrogant, dismissive, illiberal, reactionary, totalitarian!’ He was angry, very angry, judging by his language, because the SNP government was interfering with some parent’s (religious ones mainly) rights, by trying to introduce legislation that might help prevent child abuse. My response at the time is below.
Some commentators on social media have alleged that McKenna, a recent convert from rabid Unionism to apparent support for independence, is actually a ‘mole’, pretending to be a ‘critical friend’ but actually working to undermine the movement by sowing dissent within it. Here’s what Bella Caledonia had to say about his writing just before he shifted:
‘It’s a piece so loaded with self-loathing, barely recognised inferiorism and desperate, desperate political emptiness it’s hard to approach, but we really do need to talk about Kevin. It’s the latest in a now familiar style of English journalism, albeit this time by a Scot.’
I couldn’t possible comment.
Today, he was sowing dissent in the wider movement by going on about the ‘eye-watering’ cost of hiring stalls at the SNP conference. This had forced out groups like Common Space, Compass, Oxfam, the New Economic Foundation, Friends of the Earth and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, thus spoiling the ‘pleasingly chaotic and unfettered atmosphere.’
I’ll be direct. None of these groups, though no doubt worthy in other contexts, could be described as either ‘battlers’ for the independence movement or ‘at its core’. I’ve expressed before my very strong reservations about the SNP’s current position on NATO and the monarchy but I’m prepared to wait until the great day and not waste everybody’s time and energy on them now. As for the other political groups ‘dubbed the SNP’s Momentum shadow’, presumably RISE, do what the real Momentum actually did for Labour in England, join the SNP and fight from within to influence its direction. Why on Earth would you expect the SNP to spend time and energy flattering the egos of tiny ineffective groups posturing on the fringes of the drive for independence?
And, returning to the ‘pleasingly chaotic and unfettered atmosphere’ McKenna would rather the conference had, how would that help? You could argue that would just suit the Unionists and their media commentators:
‘Ruth Davidson: The SNP Conference is chaotic. How could we trust them to run a country?’